Gov. DeSantis expands funding for low-income families choosing private schools

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 70-45 which expands low-income eligibility for school choice vouchers.

More than 160,000 students currently use the program being expanded. Currently, the cutoff for income-based eligibility is 300% of the federal poverty level. This expansion would raise that number to 375% starting July 1.

The money can be used for private school tuition, tutoring services, and any resource that low-income families may not have access to otherwise.

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In addition to the expansion, House Bill 70-45 is also combining the John McKay Scholarship and the Gardiner Scholarship Program into the Family Empowerment Scholarship for students with developmental disabilities.

Many opponents of this bill have voiced their opinions about reallocating tax dollars for low-income families wanting a private institution for their K-12 children.

“Our public schools - with qualified teachers and verifiable academic standards - are the best places for most kids to learn. Draining money from public education to fund unaccountable private institutions is a betrayal of the 90 percent of students who are in public schools,” Andrew Spar, President of the Florida Education Association, tweeted after the signing.

To read the entire bill and its goals, click HERE.

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